Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bengkulu must develop industry for (agricultural) product processing

It has been a long history that the province of Bengkulu is well known to produce many plantation crops, including coffee, rubber, cacao, black pepper and sugar palm. In addition, during the last 20 years there has been another fast-emerging crops that has been widely grown is palm oil. 
However, the production of these crops are generally limited to on farm production, such as coffee, cacao, and black pepper.  These crops are generally distributed as an exported commodities through Lampung.  So, the international markets don’t recognize where these products are basically come from Bengkulu.   No credits gained by this province, either branding or economical aspect.   Similarly is almost true to the case of rubber and palm oil. It is true that rubber and palm oil, for instance, have been somehow processed as crumb rubber and crude palm oil, respectively.   What happen then, the people of Bengkulu will have no extra benefits from the existence of these plantations in the province of Bengkulu.

Investment for better community
The government of Bengkulu’s province and all other Kabupaten’ governments must change their policy  to manage their agricultural products.  It would be better if they developed more industry to deal with secondary agricultural products. For example, CPO should be processed into vegetable oil to fulfill the need of vegetable oil consumption in this province. Coffee should be somehow further developed into processed products to have better added values. So do with other agricultural products. It must be developed into secondary products. The existence of this type of industry will not only benefit the local governments, but also to the people of Bengkulu. Such industry will provide more jobs for the people, and also improve the economic capacity of the local people as well as the competitiveness of Bengkulu.     

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